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Home Care Agency Owners Help Manage Coronavirus Anxiety Part II: Stay Positive to Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed During COVID-19 Crisis

Published on April 1, 2020 by Scott Zielski

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Earlier this month we published an article called Home Care Agency Owners Help Manage Coronavirus Anxiety that received a great deal of interest. We heard from many Home Care providers regarding how they are managing through this COVID-19 crisis. This pandemic has placed an unpredicted challenge to the entire community of home care from the providers though to the patients, clients and their families. 

It is challenging the home care providers like nothing else, impacting team morale, creating uncertainty across the home care agencies. All of us are keeping a close eye on the latest news both nationally and locally as we follow the daily updates on current US “Hotspots” as Coronavirus advances across the US. 

These are unsettled times, anxiety across the home agency’s staff, caregivers, and clients continue to build.  As home care agency leaders to help manage this overwhelmed feeling and anxiety looking toward their own behaviors and how they are leading their teams has become even more important.

As home care leaders to manage through this crisis it is more important than ever to lean in and demonstrate steps and actions to productively help manage those anxieties. Here are some suggestions from Smartcare’s providers across the US that they are using for helping manage the anxiety of your staff, caregivers, and clients. 

First, start with you! You need to be the guiding light for your business. 

Competence Equals Confidence – Review industry resources, as well as the websites for your local health organizations and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Take what you learn and develop or update your agency’s plans and protocols to help your staff.

Project Confidence – Always project confidence and calm for your staff and clients. They are looking to you as the guiding and support during this time.

Communicate Positively – Beware of negative bias feeding on itself. All the negative media that is flooding our heads it is easy to fall into the negative trap. Look for positives and keep highlight them to your team.

Focus equals Success – Us Small sprints to break apart larger challenges into smaller components that are easier to solve. This reduces the overwhelming feeling a larger challenge can give.

Set Time to Follow the News – It’s tempting to have the news on all day long following every development in COVID-19. Great leaders set times like the start and end of the day to catch up on the new. That keeps them focused on leading during the day.

Recharge – Take regular breaks to manage these emotional times. Safely get out and get fresh air and physical exercise. Create separate spaces for work and home environments.

Listening and Continual Communication – listening is a powerful influencer and is the key to helping your clients, their families and your staff and caregivers get through this crisis while managing their anxiety. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together an excellent resource guide to Stress and Coping with the coronavirus disease COVID-19 that is worth looking through at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fmanaging-stress-anxiety.html

Take things day-by-day and communicate regularly is key to reducing anxiety. Be open, thoughtful, compassionate and prepared. Your caregivers and your clients will appreciate you for your efforts. Take control of your feelings, always project confidence and calm for your staff and clients.  Stay calm, stay in the moment helps us survive through overwhelming situations. As home care leaders our believers will lift ourselves and our staffs to higher levels of focus and control, reducing anxiety.  

Be focused listen, and communicate.